So, Holli graduated. After years of hard work and stress, she was finally able to accept her diploma AND to give a speech. When she heard that she was chosen to give a speech at graduation, we sorta joked that I was more of a writer, and that we could do what the President does on West Wing.
It was enticing, and then we thought, “Why not?” So, she gave me some ideas that she had, and she passed on previous speeches. She wanted a rough draft in a couple days. I toiled away at it, mentally. I finally, at 1am one morning, got something down on digital paper. It was a speech that, moments after I wrote it, I was proud of. The next morning I wasn’t.
Holli’s remarks made it clear that an almost complete rewrite was in order. My nickname of Miles “One-Draft” Rausch was dangerously close to being a sham. We were in Jersey’s, and I finally set to asking her questions that could help me get inside her mind. She wanted it to be mostly solemn with some comedy. She wanted to touch on certain topics. She definitely wanted no “Yo’ Mama” jokes, a pillar of the first speech.
So, with her encouragement and ideas, I set to writing again. I liked the general theme of “paying attention”, but it was really Holli’s ideas that I needed to express, not my own. This draft I got right. She made some additional changes to it and got to practicing it. But that wasn’t it. We made the decision to “fake out” the blogging masses. We decided that we’d both post fake speeches on the day of the speech, and I would post a video of the real speech later on. Holli posted the first draft, while I penned an entirely new version of the speech. It was a version that I knew Holli would have been horrified to give.
I did eventually post the actual speech, in video form. In retrospect, I should have titled it “The Graduation Speech” not “The Graduation”.
It was an interesting experience helping to write a speech for another person to give. You have to keep a lot of things in mind, including their sense of humor, their reading style, background, vocabulary, and personal experience.
P.S. Job search is still on. I’ll keep you updated.